ONTARIO -- David Rubin, founder of the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund and former Shiloh Mayor spoke at Sar Shalom Center in Ontario this past weekend. Rubin is the second dignitary to visit Ontario this fall. Last month, the Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset spoke at an event in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the rebirth of Israel.
According to Rabbi William Hallbrook, the nearby Village of Shiloh, Ohio under the leadership of Mayor Tim Wireman, established a sister-city relationship with Shiloh, Israel.
“In 1997 a delegation of area clergy travelled to the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria and brought a “key to Shiloh, Ohio” to officials in Shiloh, Israel,” Hallbrook says.
The historical city is believed to be 3,300 years old and was where the Ark and Tabernacle were believed to be once located.
Rubin resides in Shiloh and served as its mayor just after the sister city partnership ensued.
Although Ontario Mayor Randy Hutchinson could not attend the service, he did send a letter welcoming Rubin.
“I want to take time to express my warm greetings to you,” the letter said. “On behalf of the City of Ontario, I want to thank you for your visit and to let you know that you are welcome in our city.”
Hutchinson mentioned the recent Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and how victims of both domestic and international terrorism “need help more than ever.”
Both Rubin and his infant son survived a terrorist attack in 2001.
During the Second Intifada, Rubin was driving his son home from Jerusalem when without warning, Rubin’s car was ambushed by Palestinian terrorists shooting their AK-47 rifles.
“I was in a dire situation: I was shot, blood was spilling out of my leg, and the car was dead. On top of that, my three year old son was in the backseat. Before the attack, I was a skeptic about personal miracle stories, but when the car suddenly started on its own after several tries, I knew that we were lifted up on GOD’s wings to get us to an ambulance.”
Rubin sped away and eventually made it to the hospital; both he and his son had been shot.
“The doctor came to me and told me that the head of media relations for the hospital wished to speak with me. The head of media relations told me that reporters from all over Israel were amassed right outside the ward and wanted to interview me since I was the 1,000th terror victim to be treated at that particular hospital in a year and a half,” Rubin recounts.
“He said he would protect my privacy if I so choose but he wanted to give me the choice to talk to them if I wanted. I had known too many victims in our neighborhood, especially teenagers who had been murdered by the terrorists. So I said bring them in here and I will talk to them.”
Rubin is now a frequent commentator on Fox News and Newsmax TV and has written several books, including his most recent book: “Trump and the Jews.”
“I was saved by a series of miracles. I was shot in my left leg, allowing me to still drive. The bullet that hit my son missed his brain stem by one millimeter. My son couldn’t lift himself up and he had total memory loss, but his memory returned a few weeks later.
"Forty-nine bullet holes were in the car. When we took the car in to get it fixed, the mechanic told me that he couldn’t start the car at all. The fact that we were able to start it was a miracle.”
One of the darkest moments of Rubin’s life he believes has eventually helped save the lives of thousands of children from all over Israel.
“After trying to help our small child overcome the trauma of the ordeal, I heard ‘the call’ that I was to help other children like my son. What the terrorists intended for evil, GOD turned into good,” Rubin declares. “If they (terrorists) are trying to destroy our homeland, then I was convinced I was going to help rebuild our future- our children.”
Rubin started the Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund which since then has helped thousands of children cope with trauma caused by terrorism. Since its inception 14 years ago, Shiloh has brought relief and closure to victims of terror through its therapy center.
Aside from physical, occupational and psychological forms of therapy, Shiloh Israel Children’s Fund utilizes innovative therapy methods such as music therapy, animal therapy, art therapy, equestrian therapy, and drama therapy.
“I felt then, and I still feel it now, that I have a story to tell,“ Rubin shares. “ I have experienced the trauma of terrorism. I feel like I now have a duty to help others.”